Ambient Electro-Acoustic Review

Night Gestalt – Staring Light

I recently stayed in a caravan on the rugged Norfolk coast and the promo of this album accompanied my trip. I ended up listening to it multiple times (on headphones) and was totally drawn into the prepared pianos and those crystal flurries that pierce through. Lovely stuff, an amazing mix + master.

Here is the blurb:

Night Gestalt wants to create simple, transparent music. Music that is as straightforward to experience as light. And as beautiful.

With his new album Staring Light he takes the idea even further. The music was recorded during the spring of 2022 with the aim to follow the light as the days in Sweden became longer and longer – investigating the different shades and gradients of the coming spring – and in the music. Now the ritual will be completed with the release of the music exactly one year later – mirroring the recording of the songs, and once again following the light.

The first single – False Azure – is released on the spring equinox (March 20) – and the album on the summer solstice (June 21) – those magical 24 hours consisting of one endless bright summer night.

The album is spacious and quiet, using a few selected synthesizers and a small piano.

“I sort of promised myself to never record an album with a piano again. But then I was intrigued to see how much I could change the process and still end up with the sound of a piano. And it was a lot! The piano is prepared with tape and small parts – think John Cage or Aphex Twin. And played with thumbs and fingers as much as with the keys. On top of that, it’s heavily processed with effects”, says Night Gestalt.

Night Gestalt started as a love affair for arpeggios, and Staring Light is staying true to the idea. Apart from one song, there is only one note at a time throughout the whole record.

“I love how arpeggios are so simple and yet consist of everything needed to make interesting music: rhythm, melody, harmony, and sound. And I love how you can hear every note. Nothing is hidden. The music is not trying to be anything it’s not, or trying to show off. It just exists, just like light.” 

Ambient Electro-Acoustic Experimental Review

Audio Obscura – The Xenakis Station

Interesting, washed-out radio fuzz trades places with intermittent synth, chimes and drum loops, giving a distinctly haunted vibe. Sometimes nudging towards BoC’s bleaker moments (ala Tommorow’s Harvest), The Xenakis Station keeps things tense, without going full darkside.
Not sure if there is any reference to composer Iannis Xenakis here, as the music is certainly not similar, other than in name.. Curious!

Either way, here is the accompanying release blurb:

The Xenakis Station. A long abandoned research station. A place always officially denied. The place now a fiction where shards of disputed truth remain.

The location, still not declassified. Remnants destroyed.

Last winter we got a phone call to say graffiti on an abandoned building on Redpoint Sound states” ‘Xenakis broadcasts were made here’ but official enquiries are still met with silence.

Release Date: 06/10/2023
Via: Woodford Halse

Ambient Minimal Synth

Cate Brooks – Easel Studies

Cate Brooks is back with her seventh release for Clay Pipe Music. Never one to stand still, ‘Easel Studies’ finds her pushing the boundaries of sound synthesis and experimentation on the Buchla Music Easel while still sounding beautifully beguiling and hypnotically melodic.

Ambient Drone Synth

Roya – Bound

All songs composed & recorded live by roya on a Buchla Music Easel.
Mastered by Andreas Tilliander.
Design and artwork Tzenko Stoyanov.

Ambient Beats Minimal Synth

Yeon – In The Flow

From the vaults of Henry Homesweet’s sprawling discography, Pen Name present ‘In The Flow’, a 2015 EP worthy of the reissue treatment. With the Yeon alias, Homesweet explores a deep and mysterious tropical sound, enveloping the listener with meticulous stereo design (headphones recommended). Freshly remastered for tape / digi and featuring an unreleased extended cut on the B side.

Avant Garde Electro-Acoustic Experimental Musique Concrète

Trond Jervell – 2nd Two

More Ciat-Lonbarde based experiments that we’ve come to know and love, from the Maestro, Trond Jervell. VERY Limited cassettes up now on Moonside Tapes bandcamp

Avant Garde Drone Electro-Acoustic Experimental

Phil Archer – Atalanta Fugiens I​-​X

First published in 1617, Atalanta Fugiens is a collection of 50 alchemical discourses, each with its own illustration, verse, and musical composition. This release is a realisation of the first 10 of these Fugues, performed using circuit-bent Yamaha home keyboards and a variety of acoustic instruments.

Ambient Avant Garde Experimental Minimal Radio

Flatland Frequencies 30/8/23

FlowstateCate BrooksEasel Studies2023
Warm CurrentsPolyporesAzure2020
Jamestown (Accra)Luke SangerField Recordings
AmuletIEPome LP2018
Tchaikovsky, Valse SentimentaleClara RockmoreOhm – The Early Gurus of Electronic Music 1948-19802000
CurigCate BrooksEasel Studies2023
Delphic (Extended Mix)YeonIn The Flow2023
thai_mountain_ambLuke SangerField Recordings
ClockworksLaurie SpiegelThe Expanding Universe2012
Outline of NatureTwilight SequenceOutline of Nature2023
False AzureNight GestaltStaring Light2023
learning the doordan derksphylum2019
Soft MeadowGreen-HouseSix Songs for Invisible Gardens2020
A Fresh Dawn For North Cheshire Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development PlanBuilding a New Town 2023
all the way to kangroyabound2020
A Sonic Womb Part IIISuzanne CianiA Sonic Womb: Live Buchla Performance at Lapsus 2020
uume 24 extended mixClaude & Olauume2023
Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills)Brian EnoOhm – The Early Gurus of Electronic Music 1948-19802000
TelepathBoards of CanadaTomorrow’s Harvest2013
Sacred Transparency INight GestaltStaring Light2023
An Act Of Surrender – Part 1Thomas StoneAn Act Of Surrender2022
Lichwake FamiliarsFood PeopleMirrors & Vegetables2020
Before this Body is ForsakenAeonsInto Eternity’s Embrace2023
crumple your cryptoroyabound2020
hiroshima_frogsLuke SangerField Recordings
Avant Garde Experimental Live Synth

Karlheinz Essl: Coastline #46 @ CERN’s CMS

Live performance of Karlheinz Essl’s “Coastline” project for modular synth patched as an unstable dynamic system. Performed in the CMS assembly hall SX55 in front of the CMS life size image (18m x 18m) at CERN P5- CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid experiment) at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics on August 17, 2023. Filmed by Michael Hoch.

Ambient Drone Minimal Review Synth

Luke Sanger – Shared System Research Project

After a couple of years intensely researching, saving (and selling), in 2015 I finally ordered this instrument. The excitement was real and I was totally ready for a complete paradigm shift in making and performing music and the Shared System filled that role, inspiring many records in the process. However in that time, I haven’t made a full release completely focused on it.

All the tracks on this album were recorded in single takes using the Make Noise Shared System and an external spring reverb.
Composed in June – August 2023, the motive for recording this album was to focus and build on ideas that would only briefly surface during fleeting moments in a live performance or undocumented jam, giving priority and space to develop those themes.
Anyway, hopefully the music will tell it’s own story, but the gear and background info is there for anyone interested!